Ryan found Stone Mountain State Park after doing a little research online. We decided to drive out to the park when we read that there was a loop that included views of a 200-foot waterfall.
The weather on Sunday was quite dreary, but the rain held off and the clouds kept some of the summertime heat at bay. It was great hiking weather and we saw lots of people and their dogs out and about on the trails.
We opted for the Stone Mountain Loop which took us on a 4.5 mile hike that included some serious inclines.
The hike started off quite easy with downhill or flat walking. Within five minutes we came upon the beautiful waterfall and stopped to take some photos.
The rushing water seemed to make Sadie a little nervous and she couldn’t decide whether she wanted to play in the water or sprint far, far away from it.
What a goof.
At the base of the trail we were able to check out an awesome view of Stone Mountain, the 600-foot granite dome we’d soon be climbing!
The trails on the Stone Mountain Loop were incredibly well maintained and for the first half of the hike, we thought the “strenuous” rating of the trail may have been a little overkill.
And then we started to hit the incline. PHEW. It was tough! (For anyone interested in this hike, we parked at the Upper Trailhead Lot and veered left at the trail to hike clockwise around the loop.)
At first we were cursing ourselves for hiking the loop in the direction we did, but by the end of our hike we were really happy we tackled the trail in a clockwise direction. Had we gone the other way, the incline would not have been as steep, but we would’ve had little previews of the view from the top. By hiking the way we did, we were pretty isolated from the views until we reached the summit and then we were absolutely blown away. It was worth the wait!
Hiking with Ryan and Sadie is my “happy place” and when it comes along with views like this, I am in heaven.
And yes, Ryan totally gave Sadie a high five at the summit for making it to the top of the mountain! She wasn’t the least bit fazed by the hike. That dog’s energy is on another level of amazing.
We copied some of the other hikers and took a little break at the summit to enjoy the views, relax and cool down a bit. We got pretty sweaty on our journey to the top!
As we made our way back down the mountain, Ryan and I agreed that we’ll have to make a few trips to the mountains this fall. It feels like such a treat to live within driving distance of some seriously incredible hiking!
Questions of the Afternoon
- Do you enjoy hiking? Where is your favorite place to hike?
I think some of the most stunning hiking I’ve ever done was in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Ryan and I went on a hiking trip with another couple a few years ago and that trip is actually what made us want to move to North Carolina one day!